Family. Food. Beautiful Spaces. Healing. Travel. Living Free.
One thing that I really take pride in is taking care of my family. My husband and I have very defined roles that we have picked up over the years. I would partially attribute the success of our marriage to the roles each of us have willingly taken on (not to mention our awesome communication skills!). Colin goes to work Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:30. He is a hard worker and good at what he does. I love being a house wife, and my ultimate dream is to be a mom (and when that happens, I’m going to be a super mom!). Now, however, I’m a nanny to a wonderful family that I love dearly!
When I am at home (meaning when I am not nannying, in therapy, or with friends), I enjoy my responsibilities. I do the laundry, iron clothes, run errands, grocery shop, do the dishes, prepare all meals, make and stick to the budget, pay bills, clean, bake, take care of the pups and so much more. I absolutely love having a budget! I know, I sound nuts right? But seriously. Each week I have an allotted amount for groceries. And each week I have to stick to that amount (and being vegan, let me tell you it’s a challenge. But I like it!).
One way I have found to make this happen is by making everything (almost everything) from scratch. That includes breads, bagels, almond milk, nut butters, granola, granola bars, applesauce/apple butter, candy, pumpkin puree (lots and lots of pumpkin puree), beans (soaking and cooking dried beans), graham crackers, and all the meals we consume. It’s a lot of work, I won’t lie. But it’s totally worth it! On just the almond milk that I make at home, I save close to $7.77/week! (Plus, making food from scratch is just what I do. And I absolutely love it!) And not the mention the health benefits. By not buying as much processed foods (minus my earth balance butter and popcorn of course! I need my earth balance…) I am not only saving money but I am also saving our health. My health and my husband’s health are so important to me. After being severely ill for so long because of an eating disorder, I have learned to never take this life that I have for granted. I want to be the healthiest, the strongest, the smartest, and the best person I can be. And what I choose to feed my body is crucial in this journey. Just like that saying, “you are what you eat.”
BUT! That doesn’t mean I fret over having processed foods sometimes either. Through my recovery I have learned a lot about food, and I am not about to go down the path of restriction again. It’s all about being mindful of your food choices, and your thoughts in general.
So today I am giving you my recipe to make almond milk and a bonus recipe for almond meal/flour. Who doesn’t like a 2 for 1?! Don’t worry, I won’t charge you.
Creamy Coconut Almond Milk (BONUS: almond meal/flour)
By Amy DiPaola
For this recipe you will need a nut milk bag. Rawsome Creations has a really great bag and you can buy it off Amazon for a good price. Some people like to use cheese cloth to strain the milk. I’ve never used it for that purpose but you can always try that as well!
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
8-10 cups purified water (I use 10 but if you want a more rich flavor go with 8)
2-1/2 Tbs shredded unsweetened coconut, separated
3-4 drops liquid stevia
2-1 tsp vanilla extract, separated
1. Place the almonds plus 4-5 cups of water in your blender. Blend on high. Depending on your blender will depend on how long you need to blend. The Vitamix Pro takes about 10-20 seconds on high.
2. Drain the first batch through a nut milk bag into a large bowl. Squeeze out as much milk as possible and then place the almond pulp back into the blender with another 4-5 cups of water. Blend on high for another 20 seconds.
3. Drain the second batch through the nut milk bag and squeeze out any extra liquid. Place the almond pulp aside.
4. Rinse out your blender (make sure it’s rinsed out really good!).
5. Pour 4-5 cups of the almond milk back into the blender and add 1/2 Tbs coconut flakes, 2 drop of stevia, and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend on high for about 1 minute. Pour into a jar or other storage container.
6. Do the same thing from step 5 with the rest of the almond milk. This is best when served cold (I love it over cereal with fruit or in smoothies! I also use it for baking or anything else that calls for milk!).
Almond meal/almond flour
By Amy DiPaola
Almond pulp leftover from making almond milk
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the almond pulp on the parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then let it sit on the counter for a few hours to dry out nicely.
3. You can blend it through your blender once it is all dried out, or you can place it in the freezer and wait until you have more almond pulp. When you do blend it up, you want to end up with a fine grain flour when it’s done.